Climate, Overpopulation & Environment – The Rapa Nui debate

Anyone who thinks that exponential growth can go on forever in a finite world is either a madman or an economist.”
Kenneth E. Boulding (1910-1993), American economist

The plot of the movie “Rapa Nui” (1994) is based loosely on native legends and the hypothetical collapse of environment and society on the remote island of Easter Island. This scenario is based primarily on the discovery during an archaeology expedition prior to 1961 of unknown palm-like pollen in sediments of swamps and lakes of the island – which today lacks completely native shrubs and trees.

The movie does compress more than 1.000 years of history in just one and a half hour, presenting a fast and sudden collapse of a highly developed society. However the available geological and botanical data are not unequivocally, suggesting that the supposed demise was a more complex and gradual process.

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